Recently, it has been shown that Fas ligand (FasL) interacts with the extracellular matrix (ECM) protein fibronectin (FN), and that the bound FasL retains its cytotoxic efficacy. Herein, we examined the ramifications of FasL-ECM protein interactions throughout a specific time period, in the absence or presence of additional activating molecules, assuming that these complexed interactions occur during inflammation. We found that exposure of purified human T cells to FN-associated recombinant FasL for as brief as 5-10 min at 0.1-100 ng/ml induced their adhesion in β1 integrin- and FasR-dependent manners while activating the intracellular protein kinase, Pyk-2. The FN-associated FasL stops the CXCL12 (stromal cell-derived factor la)-induced chemotaxis of T cells by inhibiting the chemokine-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling and cytoskeletal rearrangement. This short term exposure of T cells to the FN-bound FasL (1 ng/ml), which was followed by T cell activation via the CD3 complex, resulted in 1) increased secretion of IFN-γ (measured after 24 h), and 2) enhanced T cell apoptosis (measured after 72 h). Thus, in the context of inflamed ECM and depending on the time after FasL activation, its concentration, and the nature of other contextual mediators, FasL initially retains effector T cells at sites of inflammation and, later, induces T cell apoptosis and return to homeostasis.